JOURNALING FROM MY PERSPECTIVE (plus Q+A)

9.11.17



in one of my recent posts, i posted some photos of my journals.  some people seemed interested in my journaling and wondered how i made time for it etc.  i am going to share the way i journal.  but keep in mind that, of course, everyone is going to do it a bit differently!



Vanessa - What do you journal about the most? - my life in general by far!  but i also sometimes write about certain concepts in particular because i want to see what i believe
Where do you write in your journal? - usually in my bedroom or on the couch.  i have trouble focusing in general, so i can't write just anywhere—i will probably get distracted.  i like to be able to give my mind fully over to the journal when i write, so i go somewhere quiet.
Do you go by a specific format? - i just write the date and that's about it!

Mira-how do you stay motivated when journaling? - see rest of post
-what time of day do you journal? - no time in particular . . . usually evening though.  before i go to bed.
-how consistently do you journal? - about every day, or less depending on my mood?  my personal record is journaling about five times in one day!  
-how do you find/make time to journal? - see rest of post

Anna - do you journal often? - see Mira's question + rest of post

Amelia - How do you stay ambitious and motivated to fill one journal completely? - it's usually only during the last fifty-ish pages or so that i start to loose my patience with my journal.  i just do my best.  i think the most pages i've left blank in a journal i lost patience with is about ten pages.  which is fairly good??
What do you do if you put so much work into it then you lose your interest and all of it is wasted? - not sure how to answer this question because i feel like if i do loose interest and skip onto another journal or something, what i've have done in my journal isn't really wasted necessarily?  not sure . . . 
Do you listen to music or movie soundtracks when writing, does it help with inspiration or calming? - yes i do sometimes listen to music etc!  but like i said in answer to one of Vanessa's questions, i have trouble focusing, so i don't usually listen to music unless it's a weekend or something and i happen to have a device on hand :)  really just depends on my mood i guess!

Estherdo you journal consistently every day, or just whenever? - see Anna and Mira's questions + rest of post
-what are three things that you have learned from journaling? - good question.  i've improved my writing unbelivably much, i've learned that it's important to indentify your values and understand yourself, and i've learned that i don't really know what i believe until i've written about it!
-why did you start journaling? - no particular reasons that i can remember.  but my colorado friend did used to journal a lot and i wanted to be like her i think :)
-roughly how many pages a day do you write in? - depends!  i think my min. is probably 1 page and max. is like thirty-something?
-do you have a certain size of journal you like to write in? - another great question!  i like a journal that i can fit inside my purse and can carry around without looking conspicuous, but also like a journal big enough so my hand inside it to write comfortably.  so maybe like half the size of piece of printer paper?
-do you like colorful or plain journals better? - i don't know if i've ever actually bought myself a journal myself.  all the journals i've used so far have been gifts.  but guess i like color?  good question . . . 
-ones with quotes in them or without? - hmm . . . i've never actually had a journal with quotes before, so i'm not sure if i can answer that.  but i think i would prefer one without quotes.
-do you think journaling has helped you be a better writer? - YES HANDS DOWN!
-when will you publish your journals?? seriously, if I have to wait till you're dead or something, I am not going to be pleased. XD - hahaha probably nevah unfortuantely :)
-what was the first journal entry of this year about? (if you don't mind sharing) - about our christmas/new years party i think at our aunt + uncle's house i think.  or maybe it was the one where i drew my toucan stuffed animal??  i don't remember lol ;D



journaling has never been something i am absolutely passionate about and loved super deeply.  and it was a while before i saw the fruits of keeping my journal.  i filled my first two little journals when i was about ten + eleven.  i did it more to get my feelings down on paper than anything else.

i stopped journaling until march 9 (i think?) 2016, a few days after i turned fourteen.  my bestie had sent me a journal for christmas that she'd decorated with her amazinggg artsy skills and i thought it would be cool if i took a wild step and tried journaling again.
at first, i was very detail-oriented and sporadic in my entries.  i think i wrote about eight entries over the next three months . . . which really isn't very good.  i didn't really know what i was doing!  just sorta documenting my life in my very precise style lol.
but guess what?  even though i had no idea where on earth this journaling scheme of mine was going, i was figuring it out by trying!
it was really during august, september, and october of 2016 that i actually started bonding with the practice of journaling.  every few pages, i would glue in some sort of souvenir (if i had one) and i wrote some decent entries.

~it was hard to see it back then, but my writing was improving a ton through my journaling. it also helped me develop my personality and beliefs more than i think i even know. ~

in some ways i hated journaling for making me feel "obligated" to write down my feelings when i had no other way to express them.  it made me feel like journaling always had to be the thing i had to run too when i was feeling something acutely.  and i didn't want to rely on something like journaling so much to relieve me of feelings.
one thing we need to remember about most things these though, is that they are not what define us and we should not let them control us.

i finished my first journal in october 2016 (actually, halloween!) and was beginning to get the hang of it by then.  i still wasn't trying very hard to write often.
i was definitely more dedicated through journal number two.  i glued in more and more souvenirs and, i think to this day, number two still remains my fattest journal.  i filled it with a few poems (my first real poem was written summer 2016), magazine cutouts, and plenty of words.
when i finished it, i was pretty sad.  another journal gone!  another chapter of my life closed!  and so i kept journaling.  i was beginning to see how beautiful the practice of journaling was.  how inspiring to go back through previous entries (because i was still in a similar stage of my life).  and read my writing, finding meaningful phrases i had no idea i had written. ;D  it was a written record of my life.

journal number three held so much more than any of my other journals have so far.  so much change in feelings.  a huge change of personality and person which i am so glad i caught on paper.  looking back through that journal i can put myself perfectly back into my former self of journal number three.  i can still feel the pain and struggles that would have been otherwise lost if i didn't journal.
but it was also filled with more than that.   i've never been the kind of person who voluntarily plans things out, but that journal contains my first attempts at deciding what i wanted to do with myself in the future.  that was very special to me.

i just recently delved into journal nine
WHICH IS CRAZY!  my life keeps changing and i want to capture that.

for me, journaling isn't something i need to "remember" to do or need motivation, so to speak, to write in.  it's also a great way for me to practice a different style of writing and my writing in general.
if you like blogging, i don't see any reason why you wouldn't like journaling as well! they are a very similar concept.
your journal doesn't just have to something where you write "dear diary".  you don't need to feel like someone is perpetually looking over your shoulder as you write.  our brains are constantlyyy thinking about something different, often in quick succession.  just write about what has been dominating your thoughts that day.  in a way, i love/hate being able to remember details about events that i would normally forget.  my journals hold those details.  if i didn't have my journals, there would be no way i could ever access those details ever again.

~journaling is not about wallowing in the past, it's about letting the present out of your hands.~

now nine journals away from where i started, i can see how it's changed my writing and my perception of personal experiences.  it's taught me to handle tough situations better and gain more control and understanding of what's going on in my life and in my head.  it's got some of the same pros as talking things out out-loud with yourself.  it also really helps me reduce the clutter in my life.  physical and mental.  all my lists and brainstorms and stuffs like that go in my journal.  if i want to plan something, it goes in my journal.
sometimes i get out of the habit of journaling for a week or two, and let me tell you, it's very hard to get back into!  but if you do get back into it, you'll be grateful.  i know i always am.
on that note, i don't have a schedule that i follow for journaling.  when i feel that i want to capture some feelings then i pull out my journal.  if i feel that i want to philosophize and figure out what i believe about a certain concept, then i'll go on a crazy hunt for a useable pen and jot down my thoughts.  i don't have a schedule or set of rules that i conform to.  i believe this is where most people fail when it comes to journaling.  they think they have to journal in this or that certain way.  but that isn't true!  lower your standards and expectations of yourself and keep your mind open when journaling.  you will go so much further.  trust me.

just the thought that someday i will be able to look back through my journals and put myself in my exact same shoes of these days is enough to keep me journaling for the next fifty years.  because i'm a writer, that ability is very important and special to me.  i think it's important to be able to make both myself and my readers truly understand feelings i am describing—it's a good skill to develop.  don't you think so?  cause that's everything when you're a writer.

i keep my journal in a fairly accessible place in my bedroom.   being in the habit of journaling for so long makes it fairly impossible for me to forget to write in it, even if i don't necessarily write in it every day.  i might dare to say?: to me, journals are not journals.  they hold time and living history.  that's beautiful.  

if you can put the effort into journaling, i promise you, the result will be incredible.  not all of my entries at well thought out and well put together.  some days, i only have enough energy to write an few quick thoughts into a tiny weensy entry.  and that's awesome and perfectly okay!
if you don't want to journal, don't think you have to just because other people do.  it's definitely not for everyone.  but don't just prejudge before you've tried it.

over the almost two years i have been journaling, i have learned that journaling plays a very important part in my life and i truly believe i might be a different person if i didn't journal.

there is no courage without fear.  you might fail when you try journaling, but you'll never know until you really try it, my friend.

check these out:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-occhiogrosso/7-misconceptions-most-people-have-about-journaling_b_6518294.html
http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm

are you sold??  
DO YOU JOURNAL?  if so, answer a few questions those awesome people above asked in the comments!  i'd loveee to know your opinion!!

11 comments

  1. MAN I LOVED THIS POST SO CRAZZZYYYYY MUCH!!!
    I mean really, this made me so happy. And it inspired me to continue!!!! I've been journaling probably for about five years, but throughout that time 100% and sometimes just 70%. But I still do it!!! I've been getting out of my zone lately, but you really got me ambitious with this awesome post again. Thank you for that!!!
    Also, HOLY PHOTOS AS ALWAYS!!!!

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    1. YAYYY!!!!!!
      WOW I AM SO GLAD!! okay yeah that makes sense! awwww well i'm am so happy i was able to do that for you.
      THANK YOU LOVELY <3

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  2. Ahhh journaling. I used to write diary entries in the form of letters to Jesus every day when I had my prayer time- lol no wonder I prayed for an hour every day!
    I got out of the habit when I ran out of room in my journal and didn't really get into it again until earlier this year.
    I was sorta inspired by you, and sorta inspired by the fact that there was an EMPTY NOTEBOOK JUST WAITING TO BE WRITTEN IN.
    The only thing better than clean lined paper is lined paper with writing and tears and smudges and errors galore; all woven into a story, an emotion, a million castles in the clouds and the shocking reality of life.
    I've always loved the idea of journaling every day and reading my old journals later in life so it's surprising I haven't really done it.
    I got into the habit again (like I was saying before I got distracted and rambly my goodness) a few months ago.
    The notebook was large (printer paper sized, that is) and a shade of green I didn't particularly care for and battered- it had so many marks against it that I guess I had to rescue it?
    Whatever the reason, I wrote in it every day (my Adventure Entries, actually) and when it was gone I was desperate for another journal. I ended up getting one, this even worse than the last and an old one I had tried to journal in consistently in 2012 (I think??) and I got two pages in before I forgot/quit/I-don't-remember-what-actually-happened. This one was pink and purple polka dots lined up so in stripes against the white background and this one even bigger than the last (well, thicker anyway)!
    But I used it anyway. And I grew quite fond of it!
    But then my sister's wedding came up and I had so many encounters to recount and I had too little time to recount them and they piled up and it was Monday with more adventures happening and I wasn't even finished with Friday of the week before.
    So I ditched journaling and now I am really wishing I hadn't.
    I need to do it again for sure.
    And this post.
    THIS POST.
    SO GOOD.

    Definitely got me wanting to journal again, and feeling better about it. I think the stress was building up unnecessarily and that was turning me against it but I want to journal again.

    SO MANY THINGS YOU SAID IN HERE WERE PURE POETRY AH I CAN'T EVEN.

    Also. I hope you leave me your journals in your will when you die because if you don't I shall be very put out. (lol so morbid)

    pictures number 4,7,10,12,15,16,22, and 25 are my favourites. Honestly they were all good and this post was so good I'm in awe (as always)
    <3<3<3

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    1. ooo that such a cool idea!!
      hmm yeah that would probably get me out of the habit too. but i'm glad you got back into it back then!
      I TOTALLY AGREE! i cannot choose between clean lined paper and lined paper with writing and tears and smudges and errors galore. that's such a great way to put it. haha i am totally with you on "the shocking reality of life". ;P
      oh no!! well i am so glad you were inspired by this post. THAT MAKES ME FEEL SO GOOD OHMYGOODNESS.

      AWWWW thank you!!!!
      lol i will leave them to you in my will i promise ;D
      thank you!!!
      <3 <3 <3

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  3. Nine journals? That's amazing!! I loved this post there is a wonderful amount of information. Journaling to get your feelings on to paper and to deal with situations in a better Manner is great. Im feeling inspired. I've never really been one to journal but I do it at times where I need my thoughts out of my head! Thanks for posting this! (:

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    1. haha thank you!! aww i am so glad you loved it. yes it totally is! that's great too! absolutely! thank you for reading and commenting. there's nothing to put a little sparkle in my day like an inspiring comment from people like you. i really appreciate it.

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  4. I believe I spy your vegie garden in these photos! I'm glad to see someone else likes taking photos of all the varied leaves and flowers and fruit and bugs in the garden. :)

    And wow, it was great to read your answers and hear you talk about your journalling experience! I like the passion coming through in this post. :) I do journal, yes. I've been doing it for... eight years, I think? I agree so much with everything you said. It's helped me be able to put my thoughts into words, process what I believe and who I am, be an outlet, and record fun and little things I wouldn't remember otherwise. I also sometimes write about random people I observe downtown or in the city, and that can be pretty fun too. But yes to this post! I'm all for encouraging people to journal. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience (also wow, eight journals in a year is impressive)! xx

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    1. lol yes you do!! aww well i'm glad i'm not alone either! i always feel like my tastes in what i like to take photos of is a little odd but i try not to let it bother me haha. veggie gardens are definitely one of my favorites. <3

      i am so glad you enjoyed it!! and it makes me feel so honored that you saw my passion—that is so inspiring.
      wow how awesome is that!! journaling is so special. and i'm so glad you agree with me! agh yes writing about those random people is beyond fun i totally agree :)
      well thank you for reading!! it means so much to me that you took time out of your day to stop my blog and leave such a sweet meaningful comment. <3 <3

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  5. this was awesome sophy! we're super alike when it comes to journaling..i've kept a journal since i was 8 and am currently on my 11 i think. :) loved reading all these questions and your answers!! gorgeous photos <3 <3

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    1. thank you paige!! aww how awesome is that! ooo that's great!! congrats!! thank you i'm so glad :) thanks!!!

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